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Making the same mistake

Re: Michael Hiltzik’s business column “Turning down the temperature on illegal immigration,” Apr. 21:

This largely misses the point of the immigration debate.

Even if it were correct, as one study suggests, that providing an amnesty would have little effect on the current labor market, one still needs to look at the long-term consequences.

The last amnesty in 1986 led to an increase in illegal immigration, resulting in the crisis we face today. Given that outcome, why would we repeat the mistake?

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Ric Oberlink

Berkeley

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It was good to learn that the UCLA Report and the Public Policy Institute of California Report support the recent USC/Los Angeles Times poll that “showed strong majorities favoring a guest worker program or a path to permanent legalization, and a shift away from depriving legal residents of state services.”

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These reports reflect the complementarity between the economic and the ethical/moral reasons to create a path, with appropriate caveats, to citizenship for illegal immigrants. I trust that our state and national legislators will move, post haste, to create the needed legislation.

Karl Strandberg

Long Beach

Springtime for hedge funds

Re: “Hedge fund operator made billions by betting on defaults,” Business, Apr. 17;
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While Mr. Paulson may indeed be deeply involved, my money is on Mel Brooks as the evil genius behind this fiasco. Paulson and the investment bankers at Goldman Sachs appear to be acting out roles suspiciously similar to those of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in their plotting to produce a Broadway flop, then abscond with the investors’ cash.

C’mon, Mel — come clean!

Richard Martinez

Pasadena

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Promoting the general welfare

Re: David Lazarus’ business column “Delays in reform hasten next crisis,” Apr. 23:

He quotes Sen. Mitch McConnell in reference to Obama’s financial reform proposal thusly, “We want to make sure that we don’t set up a system whereby we empower the government to continue doing what they’ve been doing.”

Sadly, there’s much confusion in the country about the roles of government in our republic. Actually the answer is simple and is found in the preamble to the Constitution … which is “to promote the general welfare.”

Setting rules to protect the public from financial practices that threaten the nation’s economy is totally consistent with the intentions of our nation’s founders.

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Leon Schwartz

Altadena

Toyota should face charges

Re: “Toyota recalls Lexus SUVs,” Apr. 20:

Your article states that Toyota agreed to pay a record fine of $16.4 million. This a light slap on the wrist and Toyota will just chalk it up as a routine expense of doing business

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Toyota knew of problems well in advance of their recall, problems that led to loss of life. Someone at Toyota should be charged with criminal negligence.

Zav Liebling

Newport Beach

Write to Letters to the Business Editor, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or bizletters@latimes.com. Please keep your letters brief and include your address, phone number, and the headline and date of the article.

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